The Girl's Guide to Being a Boss

The Girl's Guide to Being a Boss

If You’re Wondering How To Be A Girl Boss, You’ve Come To The Right Place.

Truth be told, the backbone of my entire blog is about embracing your inner girl boss. I always aim to provide a sense of can-do attitude and confidence in between the lines, which I hope in some way can inspire you to look at life through the same lens.

But first things first: What is a girl boss? Sophie Amorouso, CEO of Nastygal and one of the richest self-made women in the world, wrote a book titled #GirlBoss, which effectively brought the term from a trendy saying to a cultural go-to when describing a successful woman. According to Amorouso, a girl boss is, “Someone who’s in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #GirlBoss, you take control and accept responsibility.”

I’ve seen “girl boss” used everywhere from networking events to Forbes articles, and while it’s certainly become a bit of a buzzword, the meaning of it is something I’m here for. A girl boss is someone who defines success on her own terms and doesn’t stop until she gets it. She’s a leader. A goal-getter. Someone who understands that you can have anything, but not everything. Who gives it everything she’s got, and then some. She’s constantly inspiring and empowering others because of the example that she leads.

Who screams, “NOT TODAY” in the eye of an evil Ice King found only in nightmares. (Okay, sorry, had to drop that shameless Arya Stark plug for my fellow Game of Thrones nerds.)

In simple terms: A girl boss is a badass.

Do I consider myself one? Yes, I do.

And not just because I own my own business, though I will say it’s incredible to be your own boss. To me, a girl boss is an attitude.

I considered myself one when I worked in corporate; I managed a team and high-profile projects, sure, but being a girl boss means so much more than that. What I felt made me a girl boss was the work ethic I consistently showed, the confidence to speak up even if it was intimidating, the ability to both own projects and delegate depending on the need, and the understanding that, while I had a lot to give, I also had a lot to learn.

Today, those same attributes make me a girl boss, but I also think the fact that I took the road less traveled and quit a high-paying corporate job to go after my own thing is one of my proudest girl boss accomplishments. I’ve built this little internet corner into a legitimate, income-producing business. One that of course is small and has a long way to go, but a business nonetheless.

On the consulting end, pitching and winning clients were some BIG moments for me. Having them give rave reviews of my work was another. And, recently deciding to focus more on my own brand is another. The same big moments are there — pitching and winning clients, delivering work that I hope exceeds expectations — but it’s actually more complex with your own brand because elements such as growing a loyal community, and the constant need for content, is added into the mix.

For me what it all boils down to is: Go after it, learn, pivot if needed, keep learning and growing. A girl boss doesn’t mean knowing it all or having it all figured out. It means having a dream and working hard to go after it.

I hope the above doesn’t read as a “humble brag.” (It’s hard to list accomplishments frankly without feeling like there’s a bit of that in there.) But, I think it’s important to lay out the reasons why I believe I’ve learned a thing or two about being a girl boss, and thus am qualified to pass along some tid-bits of knowledge to you! Though I consider myself someone who has a lot to learn, I also think I’ve come pretty far, and I’m proud of what I’ve done in my working years so far.

How To Be A Girl Boss

Here’s the TLDR summary for those who need spark notes: 1. Be a girl woman. 2. Decide what you want and then go get it.

But of course, life is more grey than that. Here are some of my greatest lessons on being a girl boss thus far!

Define Your Passion & Go All In

What are you really, truly passionate about? When you get up in the morning, what gets you out of bed? Think about what you love to do. What doesn’t feel like work? Really dive in and think about all that. Write it down. Define it.

Then, make a plan and go all in.

I believe that the best route to success is one with which you’re so passionate about it that you can’t imagine doing anything else. If your efforts are divided, you may be able to keep the lights on, but you won’t be doing it right. You’ll always be frustrated with how much you could have/should have/would have done “If you just had more time.” (Trust me on that, I learned the hard way!)

Knowing your passion is one thing, but going after it is another. Both are essential. You need both to be a girl boss.

Know Your “Why”

Equally important to defining your passion is understanding the “why” behind what you’re doing. By this I mean — What is the ultimate goal of your business? What’s the mission? The reason for being?

Knowing your “why” also means thoroughly understanding who your target consumer is and what they’re looking for in a value add within your space. This helps to define when and where you’ll show up to drive and build that value for them.

This is all essential because you can’t correctly make a plan for how you’re going to drive success unless all these important foundational elements are established. A girl boss knows that working hard is a huge factor in success, but you’ve got to be smart about it because hard work alone is just busy work without a strategy in place.

Recognize That Self-Doubt Is Natural. Develop Positive Ways Of Overcoming It.

Even the most successful women have doubts. It’s a part of being human.

Thoughts of, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough” happen to me on the regular, but you know what? I’ve actually found that those moments are ignited by problems I’m facing, which often leads to solutions. Moments of doubt have always made myself, and my business, better.

To me, the key is to never look at “No” as an actual “No.” No is a question. It’s a “How can I be creative to work around this?” Some of the smartest people I know are the ones who admit when they don’t know things. Who can entertain different perspectives without getting heated. Who look at problems as opportunities. If I ever encounter someone who “Has all the answers” I’m very wary of them. To me, a smart person is one who figures it out, not who has every answer. There’s a really big difference between the two.

Be the person who figures it out. No is a line in the sand. Take a bucket of water and wash it away.

Be Inspired By Those You Admire

In moments of doubt, it’s always helpful to get inspired. There’s no better place to gather amazing perspectives and pieces of advice than to lean into those who have walked the walk.

I love to read books by women I admire, particularly those who are self made. It’s not that men don’t have great perspectives — of course they do! — but women have very unique challenges within the work field and society as a whole. Female-focused stories are the ones I find most inspiring — they’re the ones who have built something from the ground up despite the odds — and I find them powerful.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

Unless you’re a yoga instructor in the middle of the Belize jungles, you’re going to need technology to be a girl boss in today’s world. (For the record, even a yoga instructor in Belize would be wise to have an online presence in order to build themselves a thriving business!)

Technology enables us to connect and thrive in today’s business world, and being a girl boss means embracing that notion and using technology to help you succeed. (By the way, I don’t say this to promote the absence of technology breaks. I believe it’s imperative that we all disconnect regularly. I try to do it on the daily, in fact!)

I rely heavily on technology — specifically internet access — for my business, and I can’t tell you how important it is to have a partner in technology access. As a working mother who works from home, using time in an efficient manner is extremely important in order to get it all done, so when I log on, I need it to work. Especially at the beginning of our move and my job transition, when I was adjusting to a new normal and juggling it all felt at times overwhelming. Another hassle was the thing I needed! 

Ignore The Nay-sayers And Haters

I so wish the world was full of nothing but supporters and “GO GET ‘EM, TIGER” rally cries for everyone. But, the honest and harsh truth is that no matter who you are — a teacher, nurse, entrepreneur, or stay-at-home-mother (The hardest and most applaudable job there is, in my opinion) — there will be nay-sayers and those who are not supportive. Everyone has an opinion. I can guarantee that no matter what you are doing, there will be someone who disagrees with you. Especially in a field like content creation, where sharing a lot publicly is a part of the gig.

I personally have come across some hurtful comments that have made me feel terrible, both in the work setting and even via this blog. But, so is the case with pretty much every person I know, no matter who you are. Bosses who are difficult, clients who you just don’t jive with, customers who are upset, products that don’t work, communication that’s gone wrong. Heck, people who find you annoying. It’s the reality of business.

I’ve found that the only way to handle it productively is by doing a few things. First, don’t lower yourself to their level. Stay classy. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Second, dust off the hurt feelings and move on. Try to ignore the nay-sayers. They don’t have your best interest at heart anyways, so who needs them? Third, choose to use that negativity as fuel. How good would it feel to have that same person, years from now say, “Wow they really proved me wrong?”

Similar to self-doubt and situations of “No” I mentioned earlier, nay-sayers are inevitable. You’ve got to look at them through a solution-oriented mindset. “Is there truth to what they’re saying that I can learn from?” If so, learn from it and move on. Are they just being plain mean? That’s on them. Again, move on.

Net net — you don’t need anyone in your life that isn’t a value add. Make sure you’re being selective. Find your people who lift you up. Everyone else is just noise.

Hustle, Hustle, Hustle, And Remember To Always Be Kind.

There’s no success without hard work and hustle. Committing to success means committing to the hustle. It’s as plain and simple as that.

Here’s another plain and simple truth. People do business with people. Be kind. No one likes working with a jerk, so don’t be one. Practice open communication, be understanding and empathetic, be solution-oriented, and work with people. You will get so much further — in life and in business — if you are kind.
Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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